When your profession is studying ancient temples and cultural artifacts, you need a toolbox that matches the magnitude of the job. Brushes, buckets, and sieves have long been the foundation of an archaeologist’s work, but today, those essentials are paired with groundbreaking technology to deepen human understanding of our collective past.

While studying the Cajamarca culture, which existed in the highlands of northern Peru, archaeologist Solsire Cusicanqui has a variety of high-tech tools that enable her to analyze without doing damage.

Cusicanqui, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University, looks for evidence of their way of life by excavating settlements, pottery, bones, and other artifacts. A key part of her hunt is the use of high-tech tools, which allow her to identify the best sites before she has to grab the shovels and break ground.